Case: In the matter of the Application of United States for an Order Authorizing the Physical Search of Nonresidential Premises and Personal Property

81-[redacted] | Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Filed Date: 1981

Closed Date: 1981

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

For the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse collection of FISA Matters, see our special collection.On November 2, 1981, the Select Committee on Intelligence of the U.S. Senate issued a report on the Implementation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act had been in full effect for over two years when the report was issued. The Committee recommended that the Act be permitted to continue in effect without amendment pending the results of f…

For the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse collection of FISA Matters, see our special collection.

On November 2, 1981, the Select Committee on Intelligence of the U.S. Senate issued a report on the Implementation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act had been in full effect for over two years when the report was issued. The Committee recommended that the Act be permitted to continue in effect without amendment pending the results of further study and deliberations by the Committee. The report included a Memorandum of Law submitted by the Department of Justice to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and the Court's response.

On June 4, 1981, the Department of Justice applied to the FISC for an order authorizing the physical search of nonresidential premises and personal property. The Department simultaneously submitted a Memorandum of Law to the Court contending that--notwithstanding its application--the Court lacked jurisdiction and authority to approve physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes. The Department of Justice argued that the Constitution does not require prior judicial review of intelligence physical searches of foreign powers or their agents when properly authorized by the President or the Attorney General. The Memorandum of Law was written in unclassified form to permit its publication in the Committee's report.

Presiding Judge George L. Hart, Jr., agreed with the memorandum and denied the application on the basis that the FISC has no statutory, implied or inherent authority or jurisdiction to review intelligence physical search applications. A redacted copy of the Court's order is included with the Committee's report.

Summary Authors

Jessica Kincaid (6/10/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Hart, George Luzerne Jr. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Willard, Richard K. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Hart, George Luzerne Jr. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Willard, Richard K. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

81-[redacted]

Memorandum of Law [Part of Senate Report 97-280]

In the matter of the application of the United States for an Order Authorizing the Physical Search of Nonresidential Premises and Personal Property

June 3, 1981

June 3, 1981

Pleading / Motion / Brief

81-[redacted]

Memorandum of Law [Part of Senate Report 97-280]

In the matter of the application of the United States for an Order Authorizing the Physical Search of Nonresidential Premises and Personal Property

June 11, 1981

June 11, 1981

Order/Opinion

Implementation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, (1980-81): Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 97-280 (1st Session)

[In the Matter of the Application of the United States for an Order Authorizing the Physical Search of Nonresidential Premises and Personal Property]

No Court

Nov. 2, 1981

Nov. 2, 1981

Findings Letter/Report

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 31, 2022, 3:25 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

National Security

Special Collection(s):

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- All Matters

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1981

Closing Date: 1981

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The U.S. Department of Justice

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Case Details

Causes of Action:

FISA Title I Warrant (Electronic Surveillance), 50 U.S.C. §§ 1801-1812

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Non-settlement Outcome

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Content of Injunction:

Warrant/order for search or seizure

Issues

General:

Confidentiality

Search policies

Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues